UFC 219 kicked off its prelims with a flyweight fight between Louis Smolka (11-4) and Matheus Nicolau (12-1). Smolka recently coming off a unanimous decision loss to Tim Elliot while Nicolau won a split decision to top 10 contender John Moraga.
Nicolau is able to get the best of the early striking exchanges as he catches Smolak within 30 seconds of the first round with a left hook. As they keep standing Nicolau is able to clip Smolka again and scores his first knockdown at 3:20 of the 1st round, he briefly controls him on the ground but Smolka quickly gets back up. Nicolau keeps showing his skills in the pocket and knocks down Smolka once again at 2:00 of the round, he immediately goes for a choke but is unsuccessful despite having it locked extremely tight. Smolka gets on his feet again but keeps eating shots and gets knocked down for a third time after getting caught by a right overhand followed with a left hook.
The MMATakeover scored the round 10-8 for Nicolau
Smolka starts mixing up his striking with kicks allowing him to keep Nicolau guessing as he seemed to start slowing down. Unfortunately for Smolka, his hand speed remained and kept getting the best out of Smolka during the striking exchanges. A similar round that the 1st in which Nicolau dominated using his boxing but wasn’t able to knock Smolka down. The MMATakeover scored the round 10-9 for Nicolau.
Smolka started fighting with more urgency becomng the clear aggressor in the third but Nicolau kept landing in the pocket and avoided shots out of it. Nicolau displayed his takedown ability sweeping Smolka 3:00 min into the round. He landed in half guard but wasn’t able to pin Smolka down to the ground. As they got up Nicolau landed another sweep in the last minute of the round, he was able to take his Smolka’s back but was did not lock in a rear naked choke as the fight ended. The MMATAkeover scored the round 10-9 for Nicolau
Matheus Nicolau won the fight via unanimous decision (30-26; 30-26; 30-25)